Barrow boss bittersweet over season end

Barrow boss Ian Evatt spoke to BBC 5 Live Breakfast this morning following a National League Vote which has resulted in the remaining 2019/20 season fixtures being cancelled.

He admitted that there are bittersweet feelings on the season being ended, but re-iterated his belief that his team should be rewarded for their success over the season.

“It’s mixed emotions, we have proven we have been the best team over a long period of time, we have been top for near enough five months and no one has really got within punching distance of us.

Obviously it is bittersweet because we would have liked to have finished the job properly and had our fans lift the trophy. But I said to the players yesterday that one thing no one can take away from us is that when our season ended, which was yesterday, we are top of the league so credit to them.

I think in life in general we should reward success, if people have performed in their jobs then they deserve to be rewarded. I think anything other than us being promoted, be it via a points per game system or just results as they stand, would be wrong. All you’re doing then is rewarding the teams at the bottom of the league who haven’t performed by voiding it all. I think that’s wrong.

As I said, anything other than us being promoted would be very harsh. Especially as Barrow were actually voted out of the Football League 48 years ago, they weren’t actually relegated they were voted out for geographical reasons. So it’s quite strange that we’re going down the route of another vote to get back into the Football League.”

Questioned on a potential restructure of the leagues, Evatt said he is open to the idea and believes it is something that is worth looking into.

“I think there is definitely the potential for it. In the National League there is a lot of travelling for us, Barrow is a long way away and it’s a southern based league. There is definitely some legs in it, a regionalised league would get more fans going to games with more local derbies & more local games could be beneficial.

This is a great opportunity for Football in general, the heads of the FA, the heads of the EFL to get together and really think about a restructuring process. It’s a good opportunity for that and hopefully they will look at it.”

Speaking about the financial situation at the club, Evatt was quick to point out three reasons why Barrow find themselves in a good position to weather the current storm.

“We’re very fortunate for a number of reasons.

One, our board who have been in charge now for 18 months are a group of local businessmen and they’re fantastic. They have really stabilised the club and have really helped push it forward.

Two, the fans have been outstanding, over the last 18 months they have raised over £130,000 for the football club through the supporters trust and are continuing to do it.

And three, we have had a good season, we have had high gates, a number of TV games so we have been able to pocket a bit of money. We don’t overspend, we don’t have a huge budget like some other teams in our division, we look after our money and that is paying dividends right now.”

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